Total War and its Outcome

I have been watching a series on the history channel entitled “Total War.”  This naturally includes mostly WWII.  I have learned several things that I was not aware of before.

Although the Allies in Russia, Britain and the US prepared their citizenry for total war, and this included bringing most women into the work force to do jobs that men had vacated as they went as soldiers to fight, this was not done in Nazi Germany.  The Nazi concept of the German woman as a housefrau undermined this aspect of total war and the female work force in Germany was not mobilized until 1944, by which time it was too late to affect the war’s outcome.  This was one reason why production of all goods including armaments, were reduced in Nazi Germany compared to the Allies.

There has been a debate about whether or not Hitler intended to kill all the Jews of Europe before WWII started.  I was not aware that the programs of forced sterilization of “undesirables,” including those Germans who were physically and mentally unfit, was begun in 1939, before the war started.   Then also the euthanasia program named AktionT4 was started in Germany in 1939 to kill all those considered to be unproductive, including those who had already been sterilized and many others, including new-born babies who were deemed mentally or physically unfit.  At first they were shot in the head, but then they found gas was more efficient.  The killing of ca. 300,000 Germans was considered as an experiment in how to get rid of other undesirable populations, such as the Jews.  Also, deportation from Germany to the east of people considered to be non-Aryan, such as Poles and other East Europeans, as well as German Jews, started as early as 1940.  To accommodate these deportees camps were built in occupied Poland.

Note that the Allies also interned enemy aliens, Germans and Italians, in camps in the UK, the USA and Canada, and mainly Japanese from the West Coast in camps around the USA.  Many of them were US citizens and not in fact enemy aliens.  Under conditions of total war, such niceties were ignored. Although they were mistreated, enemy aliens in Western Allied countries were never murdered, starved or subjected to inhumane treatment in any systematic way.

In Germany, several ideas for expelling the Jews and other undesirables, such as to Madagascar (which had been a French colony) or to Siberia, were considered.  Although the Einsatzgruppen (Special forces) had killed some 2 million Jews between 1939 and 1941 in Eastern Europe, shooting was considered too inefficient.  Since Germany had not yet captured enough Russian territory, the Wansee Conference in Berlin in Jan 1942, organized by SS Commander Reinhard Heydrich, decided that the most efficient way to carry out the “final solution to the Jewish problem” was to kill all the Jews in Europe (totalling 11 million people) in concentration camps already being built mainly in Poland, using the gas methods that had been developed for the AktionT4 program in Germany.  Thus, under conditions of total war, the industrial genocide of undesirable and unproductive elements was a logical outcome of Nazi ideology.

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The Arab-Muslim Controlled UN

The UN General Assembly has once again passed a resolution denying any connection between the Jews and Jerusalem.  This is so obviously false and ridiculous that it brings the UN into ridicule.  Everyone with any sense and with minimal education knows that the Jews inhabited Jerusalem for thousands of years as detailed in the Bible, which is in fact a sacred book to Christians and Muslims, as well as Jews.  The resolution passed by 148, with 9 against and 14 abstentions.

The Arab-Muslim countries have a stranglehold on the UN and indeed it’s name should be changed to the Arab-Muslim Controlled UN, i.e. AMCUN.  The fact is that Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 639 ce and were never there before that date. In fact, Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority since censuses have been taken starting in 1844.  Also, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish culture forever, and that is why the Jews fought against the invading Arab armies and won and recaptured it in 1948.   The real question is how can the UN members vote to deny the sovereignty of another member,

These facts however mean nothing to the UN members and they are ignored in favor of the false Arab narrative that seeks to deny Jewish connection with its holiest of sites and in fact deny Jewish sovereignty in the State of Israel.  Luckily these GA resolutions are not binding, so actually they make no difference to the status on the ground.  The other five anti-Israel resolutions passed included a statement that Arabs are not allowed religious freedom, that is totally untrue and that Arabs are persecuted in Israel, that is an abominable lie.

Every day I interact with Arabs in Beer Sheva, in all walks of life.  The Head nurse at my wife’s Residential Home is Wadia, an Arab Beduin.  He drives a very nice white car.  My GP’s colleague is Dr. Fawzi, an Arab who I have visited on several occasions when my GP was absent.  The Ben Gurion University where I work has a very large Arab student population and they are completely free to organize themselves (but they and others are of course not allowed to break the law).  These lies are part of the Arab narrative, believed by most of those with a left-wing bias.  I challenge anyone to come to Israel and see for themselves how Jews and Arabs live and work freely together.  This does not include the Palestinians who live on the West Bank and Gaza, who are not Israeli citizens and many of whom carry out terrorist attacks against Jews and Israel.

As a final act, the UN GA rejected a resolution submitted by the US and Israel labeling Hamas a terrorist organization and a threat to peace.  ALthough the resolution garnered 89 country votes and many abstentions and no-shows, it failed to obtain the two-thirds majority required for passage by 9 votes.  It was a loss, but also a first.  Hopefully a gradual trend started by the resolute action of Ambassador Nicki Haley, who is retiring, and the Trump Administration.

IDF Destroys Attack Tunnel from Lebanon

The IDF discovered a large attack tunnel from Lebanon under the Israeli border dug by Hezbollah.  The tunnel was hewn through solid rick, not thru soft sand as is the case of tunnels from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.  It was 200 meters long, penetrated 40 m into Israel and was 2 m wide and 2 m high and was fully equipped with electrical wiring.  Needless to say IDF sappers blew it up.  It took Hezbollah 2 years to dig.

This discovery was part of Operation Northern Shield that Israel has been preparing for some time.  It was due to the expected start of this Operation that PM Netanyahu hinted at the time that he did no support a strong counter-attack against Hamas in Gaza after they fired nearly 500 rockets into Israel two weeks ago.  The situation on the Northern border is now considered more serious than that on the Gaza border.  This decision undermined the strategy of former Minister of Defense Lieberman, who resigned over the lack of Israeli response in Gaza, but now has lost significant political support.

As a result of these developments, PM Netanyahu flew to Brussels yesterday to brief US Secty. of State Pompeo, so that they could coordinate their responses to the Iranian-threat.  This is part of the declared Iranian strategy to attack and destroy Israel, and in fact this tunnel, and another one discovered only today, were large enough to accommodate a large army to attack Israel.  The IDF has the Iranian battle plan, which was to attack the Galilee region, isolate and occupy the town of Ma’alot and use it as a hostage to gain concessions from Israel.   Incidentally there is a UNIFIL presence of 10,000 peace-keeping forces near the border in Lebanon, who ignored all these activities.  What is the point of having them there?

During the Second Lebanon War in 2016, Israeli intelligence on Hezbollah activities was negligent.  IDF soldiers, when they entered Lebanon, took refuge next to and inside houses near the border.  What they did not know was that Hezbollah had dug tunnels connecting these houses and had mined them, and then blew them up, killing many IDF soldiers.  This time the IDF was aware that a house in the village of Kfar Kila adjacent to the border was being used as the entrance to a tunnel and indeed Israeli residents near the border could even hear the sound of tunneling.  This time the intelligence services did not ignore their warnings.

Overall, one must acknowledge that the threat from Iran is real, that Lebanon and Syria are being used as proxies in Iran’s plan to attack Israel, and that their tactic of using attack tunnels has now been exposed and prevented by Israeli actions.

 

Femicide

I was shocked to read that so far this year 24 women and girls have been murdered in Israel, many of them by their spouse or other family members. Most recently an Ethiopian Israeli has been captured after the body of the 13-year-old daughter of his ex-girl-friend was found strangled. Of course, there is a lamentable culture of femicide in Arab culture, when family members murder any female in their family who is suspected of infidelity.

Israel is by no means alone in this area of femicide, the murder of a female because of her gender.  In fact, in El Salvador with a population of 6.1 million, less than that of Israel, over 300 women were murdered so far in 2018.  The rates of femicide in countries such as South Africa, Argentina, Honduras, India and Mexico are also among the highest.  Unfortunately, this is an abhorrent crime that is as old as humanity itself, and it will be hard to stamp it out.

Today is a national day of protest in Israel against domestic violence, supported by the Government, during which women will go on strike and demonstrate.  There will be demonstrations in all universities and public places culminating with a large demonstration this evening in Tel Aviv.  How much difference it will make remains to be seen, but it is hopefully the beginning of a new attitude in civilized countries opposing violence against women.

Leaders in Trouble?

In a stunning development, the police in Israel have proposed indicting PM Netanyahu on charges of bribery and fraud.  Just as with Pres. Trump in the US, the opponents of Netanyahu have for long been trying to bring him down on charges of minor infractions. The police claim to be neutral and unbiased, but there is always a strong tendency for ambitious police or legal officers to try to bring down the incumbent leader. Similarly with the Mueller Probe in the US against Pres. Trump, using supposed “collusion” between the Trump election campaign and Russia. This is not to say that these politicians are lily-white pure.  But, these continuous and ongoing investigations are definitely a drawback to democracy and the efficient functioning of the governments.

In the case of Netanyahu there have been three ongoing investigations, cases 1000, 2000 and 4000, and several against his wife Sara. It is the Case 4000 that is now being brought to a proposed indictment.  This contends that Netanyahu appointed his campaign manager Shlomo Filber as Communications Director in order to ensure favored treatment for the owner of the Bezeq communications company, owned by Shaul Elovitch. Elovitch was then supposed to ensure positive treatment of Netanyahu in the news program he controls.  Now that the evidence has been forwarded to the Attorney General  Avichai Mandelblit, he has to decide whether the evidence is sufficient to actually indict Netanyahu.  If he does it will cause a major political crisis, because then Netanyahu might be forced to resign and there would be competition to replace him in Likud and then the need for a general election.

Similarly, in the US the Mueller probe into so-called Russian collusion has resulted in the indictment of several of Trump’s former aides, including his former lawyer Michael Cohen (no relative).  These may be dubbed fishing expeditions in order to get any of them to dish the dirt on Trump himself and embroil him in their own unrelated (to the Russia probe) wrong-doings, such as lying to Congress and stealing.  After nearly two years the Mueller probe should come to some kind of conclusion or be shut down.  Meanwhile Trump and Netanyahu have done great things for their respective countries.

The US-China Trade Deal

Perhaps the most important outcome of the recent Buenos Aires G20 Summit was the hour-long meeting between US Pres. Trump and Chinese Premier Xi Jingping that came to a compromise conclusion.  Those who feared an all-out trade war will be disappointed.  The two trade giants agreed on a temporary truce in which Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on bn$200  of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on January 1 for 90 days and China will buy a “very substantial” amount of US agricultural, industrial and energy products. Meanwhile, Beijing says the two sides agreed to open up their markets and to engage in further negotiations.  

Many had blamed Trump for starting a trade war that could be ruinous for the US and the world.  But, in effect China blinked first.  As Trump pointed out, not only was China cheating on its trade agreements, but they need the US trade more than the US needs theirs, and so in order to save their economy they had to come to terms.  This is precisely what is happening.  China could ill-afford to have these b$200 tariffs slapped on to their goods exported to the US, so they agreed to change their trade practices, that gave them a very unfair advantage contrary to the regulations of the World Trade Organization.  In future China will buy US goods to even the trade balance between the two countries.  This will be a great boost for the US economy and is in fact a great victory for Trump in re-negotiating trade agreements between the US and other countries.  

Over time, previous Presidents have ignored these unfair bilateral trade practices of other countries, either out of fear of causing a trade war or because they genuinely believed that the US should allow its industry and trade to suffer in order to help these less fortunate countries.  As an example of this Trump signed the tripartite US-Canada-Mexico trade deal at the Summit to replace the previous NAFTA, that Trump deemed unfair to the US.  It must have been acceptable to the leaders of Mexico and Canada because they very quickly agreed to the revised deal and signed the agreement at the Summit. 

Another trade partner of the US that has been using unfair one-sided practices is the EU, principally Germany, that for example expected no US tariffs on its cars exported to the US, but retained tariffs on its imports of US cars.  Trump is also pushing for a level playing field here too.  With his initial victory against China, the fear of an international trade war will be greatly reduced and we can expect positive outcomes for world trade.   

Anti-Semitism is Alive

However much we might want to ignore anti-Semitism, it always rears it’s ugly head.  A CNN poll taken in Europe – Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland, and Sweden, found that ca. 20% of all adults have classic anti-Semitic views, that Jews have too much power, that they control the Banks, the economy, the media, etc., and that ca. one third had never heard of the Holocaust.   

Of course, the results varied from country to country, but these differences are relatively insignificant.  We should not be surprised by this since the much larger poll by the ADL in 2014 found similar results (of course the poll results depend on the questions asked).  Should we simply expect that 10-20% of almost every country in the world are anti-Semitic or should we be alarmed by this apparent rise in the public expression of standard anti-Semitic tropes. 

As we well know, many people hide their animus towards Jews behind blaming Israel for many things, including influencing US foreign policy, controlling Congress, receiving too much US aid, as well as persecuting the Palestinians.  Ironically the same week the poll was issued by CNN they fired one of their commentators, Marc Lamont Hill, a Black American, who expressed classic anti-Israel views at the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians (yes, they have it every year) , and wished that there would be a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.”  

This would of course require the total destruction of Israel, and by the way what does he expect to happen to us, the Jewish inhabitants of Israel.  Why of course, we would all disappear, all 6 million of  us, probably in flames.  I saw on i24 News an interviewee say that Lamont’s views were left-wing not anti-Semitic.  Give me a break, the only group in the world not allowed to have their own State are the Jews?  Not anti-Semitic? No one has ever explained to me why the Palestinians are more deserving of a State than we Jews!  Anyway, we have it and they don’t, so swallow that!